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Re: [ga] Letter from ICANN to New.net

Kent Crispin wrote:

> On Thu, Jul 26, 2001 at 06:48:42PM -0700, William S. Lovell wrote:
> > A telling presumption exhibited here: if the "protocol community"
> > doesn't like something, ICANN should dump it.
> Yes.  That is the same presumption you would use to say "if heart
> surgeons think a procdure is dangerous, dump it".

Well, among the flood of responses to this FUD, I don't want my own
to get lost.   E.E.'s and heart surgeons have very little in common (I am
assuming that Mr. Crispin is an E. E.), but they do seem to share a
certain penchant for arrogance.  The analogy fails because I doubt
seriously whether even the "protocol community" has any basis for
speaking out authoritatively on the issue at hand, let alone Mr. Crispin.
There are undoubtedly many E.E.'s who would not share the view
being expressed. What is being said by Mr. Crispin, and the positions
being taken by this "protocol community," are based upon business
interests, not technology.  Hence, FUD.

> >  However, the
> > Internet does not exist for the benefit of the "protocol community"
> > or ICANN; those two entities exist for the benefit of Internet
> > users.
> Right.  Medicine doesn't exist for the benefit of doctors.  But if
> doctors tell us something is a bad idea, we generally listen.  If we
> got practically universal agreement among doctors that a procedure was a
> bad idea, we should almost certainly dump it.

Again, the analogy doesn't hold.  There is no "practically universal

> The problem is protocol engineering really is a species of "rocket
> science"* -- it takes a long time to really understand the issues.  And,
> despitewhat you hear, most of the participants on these lists really
> aren't rocket scientists of the proper variety.

So IETF presumes to speak for these non-rocket scientists? Not for
me.  The problem with a group such as the IETF (to whom several
years ago I had begun to look to for expert guidance, but then gave
that up quite rapidly when I saw what it had done and was doing)
is that it becomes an in-grown cabal of "right thinkers," for whom
"right" more often has a business than a technological origin.  My
profession lies in determining what technology will work, and what
will not, and when are things being done for technological reasons
and when are they not.  I have learned not to depend on the IETF
for anything.

Bill Lovell

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